In a world where "How I quit my 9-5 to travel the world" blog posts are ubiquitous, it can seem like it's a prereq to jump into a fulltime digital nomad lifestyle if you want to launch a travel blog. But Boston-based travel blogger Brianne Miers of A Traveling Life is living proof that you can balance a career with a life of travel and storytelling. We sat down with her to learn more about her travel style, passion about sustainable tourism and upcoming plans.
For the past five years, I've been running my own communications consulting practice. Since I'm self-employed, my schedule is a little more flexible than it would be with a traditional "9-to-5" job here in the U.S. However, I don't really get vacation days anymore - I have to be available for my clients when they need me - so it's a bit of a trade off.
I enjoy traveling as authentically as possible - staying, eating and shopping local - and meeting interesting people along the way. I live in Boston, so I love exploring New England, but I try to go abroad as often as my work schedule and budget allow.
Books – I always get excited planning what I’m going to read during a trip. When I'm at home, I unfortunately don't have much time to read anymore because of work and my blog. However, I do listen to a lot of audiobooks - one of my recent favorites is "Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah. It has a lot of humor and a lot of heart, and I loved learning more about South Africa through his experiences growing up there.
I’m lucky that I’ve had quite a few epic experiences. However, one that stands out was the 10 days I spent traveling through southern India with the Rickshaw Challenge. We were far off the tourist circuit and had a lot of fun interacting with people everywhere we went - as someone who is 5’10 and blonde, I was asked to pose for a lot of photos and held a lot of babies!
I know first-hand how much heart and hard work goes into running a small business, so I always try to support locally owned companies when I travel. I feel good having my tourist dollars directly benefit families and communities instead of multi-national corporations. I’ve also always been passionate about environmental conservation, so I try to leave a light footprint on the earth on a daily basis, wherever I am in the world.
I’ll be spending most of November in New Zealand! It’s a bucket-list trip for sure. I'll be meeting up with a friend and her husband, who are living in Auckland. I've known them since I was 22, and we've traveled together a lot over the years. I'm excited for another adventure!
I like to remind people that “sustainable” or eco-friendly” travel doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be “roughing” it or sacrificing quality. You can travel sustainably at all price points by doing your research and making deliberate decisions about where you spend your tourist dollars. And not only will your trip be impactful, it will likely be more memorable too.
*You can follow Brianne's adventures on her blog, A Traveling Life, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. * Brianne is a Lokal Explorer and official ambassador for our platform.
She's the Marketing Maven at Lokal and a travel entrepreneur passionate about storytelling and social good - you can find more from Kelley over at The Culture Collective and Impact Travel Alliance where she's working to transform the travel industry.